“Teams in third to seventh took a turn at being the third-quickest team” – McLaren boss Zak Brown expects the gap to Mercedes to be reduced this season.
McLaren had a breakthrough 2020 season, finish P3 overall after a long wait. Despite this, the gap to champions Mercedes was huge – 371 points.
Let’s go!! Third in the @F1 Constructors’ World Championship! What an incredible achievement and I couldn’t be prouder of every single person in this awesome team. Both @landonorris & @carlossainz55 finished the season with mega drives coming P5 and P6. #F1 #McLaren #AbuDhabiGP pic.twitter.com/KTvcfdyADF
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) December 13, 2020
But, despite this, McLaren boss Zak Brown expects the gap to be closer this season. For those unaware, there are going to be minimal changes to the cars as the regulations changes have been postponed to next season due to Covid-19. Brown was speaking to the Malaysia Sun on ‘reunion’ partners Mercedes, and the midfield battle.
“I think 2021 is going to look a lot like 2020. All those teams in third to seventh took a turn at being the third-quickest team at some point over the year, so I think it’s going to be unbelievably competitive.
“We could find ourselves closer to [championship winners] Mercedes, which is what we hope to accomplish, but slipping to fifth in the Championship, so it’s going to be too close to call. Where will we finish? Who knows, but I’m confident we’ll have a good year.”
Mercedes power unit designed for a Renault chassis!
McLaren is the only team that has made an engine switch this season – Renault to Mercedes. But due to the postponement of the new regulations, the new Mercedes PU will have to be adjusted into a Renault chassis. Only time will tell how this pans out, starting with the season-opener at their other ‘home’ Bahrain.
“Any time you’re making a substantial change, you run the risk of reliability and installation [issues], and just understanding the transition. Compounding that with the reduction in testing, we are excited but also nervous that we’re going into the season with the least amount of time we’re allowed to prepare on track. It’s not ideal, but I feel we’re well prepared.”